Friday, December 9, 2016

On the road from Malelane Gate to Lukimbi Safari Lodge, Southern Kruger National Park.


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It has been 6 years since we were last in this part
 of Kruger National Park.
We entered the Park at Malelane Gate and then followed the 
Malelane-Skukuza Rd until S114 and then S25(Crocodile River Road).
which took us into the camp.
27km that should(at the regulation speed limit) have taken us about an hour.
Little did we know what an interesting drive it would turn into.

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The bridge leading to Malelane Gate crosses the Crocodile River 
and is a good place for birders to stop before entering the Park.
This Grey Heron was prepared to pose
while I resolved exposure issues on a new camera

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This juvenile Spotted Thick-knee looked
a little lost...

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A pair of Pied Kingfishers making their presence known.

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Driving slowly along the S114,
we discovered this vet and his wife working on a pair of Wild Dogs.

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Although tranquillized, the dogs were emitting a "chirp" that
brought another member of the pack in for a closer inspection.
There has never been a recorded attack by Wild Dogs on humans,
so the testing continued.

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I am married to a Chemical pathologist,
so I got a "blow-by-blow" account of the tests that were possibly being conducted.
Aside from bloods, swabs were also taken from various orifices.

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The reversal drug was administered at 12:46:08.
Both dogs being injected simultaneously.

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The female was the first to recover...
12:47:17

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And the male followed almost immediately thereafter...
12:47:20

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He took off at speed...
The new generation of reversal drugs seem to work almost instantaneously.
Neither animal stumbled or was woozy on awakening.
From "asleep" to " awake" in literally a single bound.

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If we thought that our excitement was over...
We discovered this pair of Impala rams locked in battle.
When it comes to mating rights,
the males have to fight for the right to procreate.
Interestingly, during the rutting season,
the rams become so focussed on sex that they often lose condition
and are easy prey for predators

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This quartet of White Backed Vultures.
off to the side of the road did not bode well for something...

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But before we discovered what had died,
We found a flock of Southern Ground Hornbills.
They look similar to a Turkey and are not averse
to eating small rodents and reptiles.

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This is what the flock of Vultures was feeding on.
A buffalo that had been caught and killed by lions.

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Looking as if they were all jostling for food,
 there did seem to be SOME order in the chaos.
Many buffalo are falling victim to lion attacks due to the drought.

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An animal dies so that another might live.

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We ended up seeing several dead buffalo
before we actually got to see a living one.

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It is difficult to try to explain our poaching problem
when there seem to be Rhino around every corner.
We were able to view them on every game drive that we went out on.

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Dusk over the African plains...

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This was to be our home for the next few nights...
And a very comfortable one it was indeed.

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